This October, the women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship project “She Rebuilds the World” is returning to Windhoek, Namibia, and Lusaka, Zambia – more robust, supportive, and networked, with even more empowered African female entrepreneurs!
First launched in August 2022 under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, it is the first-ever Latvian development cooperation project in Sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses on empowering Zambian, Namibian, and as of 2023/2024, young and aspiring women entrepreneurs from Zimbabwe. The “She Rebuilds the World” team believes this will be an excellent opportunity for everyone wishing to build their knowledge and expertise in digitalization, innovation, women empowerment, and leadership to strengthen their social and entrepreneurial networks across African and European continents.
To assist young female entrepreneurs in achieving their dreams, the team of Latvian-origin experts in the scope of the pilot project have been exchanging experience and best practices in economic transformation, economic diversification, exporting strategies, and country branding with their African colleagues. Thus, 147 Zambian and Namibian representatives from government, NGOs, and commercial organizations were involved in the topical workshops in October 2022 in Lusaka and Windhoek. This year “She Rebuilds the World” team will bring to Namibia and Zambia Latvian experts and professionals like:
- Inese Voika, an experienced politician, anti-corruption expert, and women leadership expert;
- Girts Greiskalns, a seasoned business expert specializing in digitalization and green energies;
- Olga Karuna, coaching and business mentoring expert;
- Enno Ence, European Union accredited innovation expert ad mentor;
- Ieva Jākobsone Bellomi, women economic empowerment and leadership expert.
During the second season, “She Rebuilds the World” will launch the Entrepreneurship Education Program, Train the Trainer Program, Digitalization Program, Civic Participation Program, and Women Leadership Program in Namibia; Entrepreneurship Education Program, Train the Trainer Program, Innovation for Value Program and Women Empowerment and Leadership Program in Zambia; and Entrepreneurship Education Program (online course), Innovation for Value Program (online workshops) in Zimbabwe. The program will consist of three parts:
- Intense three-day boot camps in Lusaka, Zambia (10-12th October 2023) and in Windhoek, Namibia (17-19th October 2023). These boot camps will be problem-driven and provide participants with knowledge about the basic building blocks of 21st-century business, ideation processes, team building, and selling ideas. It also offers an excellent opportunity for the participants to network with professionals and each other.
- An online networking event in December 2023, where participants will meet fellow program participants from Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This will allow participants to make a Pan-African women entrepreneurs’ network and reap the benefits of doing business across the African continent.
- Practical weekly online classes from January to May 2024, run by our professor Michael Wells. The course will consist of the Namibian, Zambian, and Zimbabwean cohorts, along with our students at Riga Business School, and will provide opportunities for international cooperation. During the course, all students will work in teams to develop an ultra-low-cost prototype to sell to customers. By completing this course with a minimum passing grade, participants will receive a Certificate from Riga Business School to help these African entrepreneurial women strengthen their professional careers.
The program shall end in May 2024 with certificate awards ceremonies in Windhoek, Namibia, and Lusaka, Zambia.
This project is facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia (the project is financed in the scope of development cooperation grants facilitated by the Latvian government), Latvian diaspora experts from the #esiLV movement, Riga Business School, Business Financial Solutions, Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, Namibia University of Science and Technology – NUST in Namibia, Zambia Development Agency, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, University of Lusaka in Zambia and National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe.